The "Cookie Monsters," David Cooke and Eric Cooks, combined for 26 second-half points to lead St. Mary's to a 78-68 West Coast Athletic Conference victory Saturday over Loyola Marymount at Gersten Pavilon.
Four St. Mary's players scored in double figures before a crowd of 2,680 as the Gaels moved into a tie for second place in the WCAC with Santa Clara at 4-1, a half-game behind Pepperdine (5-1). The Gaels improved to 12-8 overall.
Loyola fell to 1-4 in the conference and 9-11 for the season. Guards Keith Smith and Steve Haney led the Lions with 27 and 20 points. Smith also had seven assists.
Power forward Cooke led St. Mary's with 24 points, 11 in the second half, and had 10 rebounds. Cooks, the center, who sat out most of the first half in foul trouble, scored all 15 of his points in the second half. The two shot a combined 15 of 18 from the floor.
Bryan Shaw had 19 points, 13 rebounds and six assists for the Gaels. Paul Robertson added 10 points.
St. Mary's took a 35-30 halftime lead and built a 12-point bulge midway through the second half. Loyola stormed back to within four, 53-49, as Smith heated up. But St. Mary's hit 15 of 23 free throws in the final 8:29 to hold off the Lions.